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Cambodia: Govt. officials and labour groups and NGOs leaders offer different perspectives and assessments on human rights on the International Human Rights Day

Author: Mesa Sun, Khmer Times, Published on: 11 December 2019

"Stark contrast in Human Rights Day events", 11 December 2019

Differing opinions on the status of human rights in the Kingdom became apparent as various groups marked Human Rights Day ... at two venues in the capital.

About 400 government officials and youth group members marked the day’s 71st anniversary at the Cambodia-Korea Cooperation Centre, while about 2,000 unionists and members of the public marked the day at Freedom Park.

Keo Remy, president of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee, at the CKCC said the government has always paid attention to the rights of citizens...

Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, at Freedom Park said respecting the rights of workers has decreased over the years and it is a source of concern for many.

 “We see that respecting workers’ rights has decreased – investors do not pay attention to workers,” Mr Thorn said. “Investors need to consider the rights of workers.”

He said garment factory workers are faced with decreasing salaries, overtime work, discrimination, short-term contracts, violence and imprisonment...

A 19-point petition to address wages, welfare, prosecutions of union leaders and discrimination was then declared by those gathered at Freedom Park.

The Cambodian Centre for Human Rights in a statement said the government has taken action to curb issues surrounding human rights, but it has not done enough.

“We call on the government to encourage the celebration of Human Rights Day in Cambodia and acknowledge the benefit human rights have on society as a whole,” it said. “We implore the government to cease all arbitrary action and targetting of human rights defenders.”...

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